President – ColoHealth
A Message From Wiley Long,
President of ColoHealth…
Hi, I’m Wiley Long, president of ColoHealth, and like our clients, I’m a proud resident of Colorado. I’d like to tell you a bit about myself, and why I have made it my goal to help Coloradans find the best health insurance coverage while saving the most money possible.
In my 25 years in the health insurance industry, I’ve discovered that most people spend more than they have to on health insurance simply because it’s too complicated for most to understand. It doesn’t have to be that way—even during a time when there are so many changes being brought about by health care reform.
That’s why I’ve assembled a team of insurance experts who share my mission to make sense out of the complex issues surrounding today’s health insurance market.
Why ‘Health Insurance Made Easy’ Is My Mission
In 1986, I was a year out of college, living with my parents, and I needed a job. I became a health insurance agent, traveling the country roads of South Georgia. In this job, I had the pleasure of meeting mostly with farmers and small business owners (who knew very little about the ins and outs of health insurance).
Most felt perplexed by the ‘insurance-speak’ they had been given by other agents, and were at the mercy of whatever quote they had been given for their families’ health coverage.
Over the years that I worked in Georgia, I built an agency that produced over $10 million in business per year. I believe the success of my business efforts was directly related to having a one-on-one relationship with my clients—thousands of small business owners and individuals who appreciated my accessibility and honesty year after year.
The Importance of Independence
The biggest turning point of my professional life came in 1999. I was working in a situation where I was representing just one insurance carrier. The plans I had been representing to my clients had been very competitive—until they weren’t.
Selling a product that was no longer of true value wasn’t good for me, and it especially wasn’t good for my clients. Because I no longer believed in what we were selling, I decided to shut down the business.
This seemed to be the perfect opportunity to do some soul searching and make some decisions about what we really wanted to do with our lives, so my wife Christie and I took a year off to travel around the world (we invite you to read about our journey).
By the time the year was up, Christie and I had a plan. We moved to Colorado, where both of us enrolled in graduate school. I eventually received my master’s degree in nutrition and exercise science, and Christie began the studies that led to her current career as a veterinarian.
I got back in the insurance business while in grad school, but I’d given it a lot of thought while I’d been away, and this time I decided to do it very differently. I became an independent insurance broker so that I could offer my clients the coverage best suited to them—from whatever carrier that might be. This was also the point where we set up our online and phone systems to make things much easier for our clients to shop, get information, and get signed up.
This was the beginning of ColoHealth.
The Value of Family
My other greatest passion besides my business is my family. It’s always a challenge to balance a working life and a family, but I think I do a pretty good job of it.
Christie and I have one son, Wiley IV, and seeing Wiley accomplish things as he grows up makes me incredibly happy, whether those accomplishments are in academics, learning to play the piano, or progressing in the art of jiu-jitsu. He recently earned his yellow belt; it was a proud moment for me when I went to see him test for it!
Christie and I have passed on our love of travel to our son as well, and we maintain an active lifestyle. We hike, ski and snowboard locally, and in the summers we travel to our family’s home in Alabama for water-skiing. We especially enjoy visiting Mexico and introducing our son to different cultures during our travels.
Christie and I are also big fans of live music, enjoying live acts here in Fort Collins as well as traveling to music festivals when we can. But frankly, I’m just happy to be hanging out with my family on a free day, regardless of what we’re doing—although it’s a bonus if it happens to be on a beach.
Our family’s favorite cause is the Fort Collins Cat Rescue. We’ve been giving to it for years because we believe in its mission. It’s a no-kill shelter and does some wonderful work.
Because my education is in the field of nutrition and exercise, I like to talk to people about staying healthy. I believe that people have far more control over their long-term health than most of them imagine. In my strong opinion, the most effective way to stay healthy is through lifestyle measures, especially eating high-quality food.
I’m proud to say that a publication I founded, The Paleo Diet Newsletter, helped to create some early buzz around an extremely healthy way of eating that now has a nationwide surge of interest behind it. (The Paleo diet calls for eating foods similar to what a hunter-gatherer would have eaten—vegetables, fruits, meat, fish—and avoid foods that are newer to humanity, such as grains, sugar and vegetable oils.)
Philosophies on Success
I hold the free market economy as the standard-bearer for any successful business. The businesses that provide the best service and value are the ones that should thrive.
This should also be true in the health care industry, but unfortunately prices are often hidden, and consumers pay too much for too little. I believe in consumer-driven health care and helping people find ways to save money and beat the system.
I know my clients have other options than ColoHealth, so I never take their business or concerns for granted. You can read the many positive comments we get right here on our testimonials page.
Simple, Easy-to-Understand, Money-Saving Health Coverage
I truly love to help people save money. And I know that the way to do this is to make things simple! Health insurance doesn’t have to be complicated.
When I first started in health insurance, I would meet with people at their house or place of business. I’d regularly spend an hour and a half with them, explaining options, looking up rates, and filling out paperwork at my client’s kitchen table. It was not easy, not for me and especially not for my clients.
Today, we have the ability to communicate and problem-solve in just minutes. The result allows us to develop lifelong relationships with our clients, and usually to see ways to improve their health care spending before they do. Even though we live in an ever-expanding high-tech world, the personal service I demand of my team is alive and well.
Our competitors won’t share their numbers with us, but we believe ColoHealth is the No. 1 agency in the state offering individual and family health insurance plans. Our thousands of happy customers all over Colorado enjoy access to all of the information they need to get the lowest rates and the best coverage available.
Options, Option, Options
We don’t work for just one insurance carrier. We offer coverage from many Colorado carriers, both on and off the health insurance exchange. We can cut through the barrage of marketing pitches you see every day as health care reform continues to set in, and we don’t charge you anything for our expertise.
You have many more options than you may think. Are you limited to the health insurance exchange? Can you qualify for a premium subsidy? Do you have to accept the insurance your employer offers? Can you get a short-term plan in the meantime? What about health savings accounts?
These are questions that don’t scare us one bit. We love to explain insurance options, and to see that “AHA!” moment when a client realizes it’s possible to keep more of his or her own money in his or her pocket, where it belongs.
Certified to Make It Easy
If you are buying your health insurance on the Connect for Health Colorado health insurance marketplace, I encourage you to (virtually) take your ColoHealth Personal Benefits Manager with you and take advantage of our expertise. We are certified by the exchange. This means that when you create your profile during open enrollment or a special enrollment period, you can authorize us to make your selections and apply for a premium tax credit on your behalf.
Remember, the services of a health insurance Personal Benefits Manager are built into the price that you are paying for your health insurance, whomever you purchase it from.
Unlike the navigators on the exchange, my team is committed to providing personalized service—before, during and after you shop, every year. We’ll show you options that can save you money and maximize your tax credits.
I fully expect you to be nothing less than overjoyed with the level of service we provide, and I think you’ll also be surprised at how easy we make it to avoid paying too much while getting the best coverage for you and your family.
To your health and wealth,
President – ColoHealth
COLORADO HEALTH INSURANCE INFORMATION
- Plans approved and authorized under the Affordable Care Act
- Covers Pre-Existing conditions
- Low cost subsidized plans available to those earning
< 400% of the federal poverty level
- Unlimited lifetime benefits
- Available during open enrollment (November 1 – January 15), or if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period
COLORADO HEALTH COST-SHARING INFORMATION
- Not health insurance, but a way for like-minded individuals to share medical expenses
- Waiting periods on pre-existing conditions
- May exclude sharing for certain conditions or activities
- Enroll any time
- Much lower monthly cost than unsubsidized health insurance